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Pennsylvania Outsleazes the Bill Collector

The state of Pennsylvania has a new commercial out for those who haven’t paid their taxes yet.  Just tell me this doesn’t creep you out a little.

Now, I don’t doubt for a minute that “Tom” is a fictitious person.  However, if he were not, the state of Pennsylvania just used tactics that debt collectors have been barred from using for over 30 years now via the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act of 1978(pdf) .  They publicly advertised his debt, revealed personal information to a third party and made some very thinly veiled threats.

Not only are these practices illegal, the industry has an association set up that helps advise agencies how to stay current in a changing world of compliance.  So, congratulations Pennsylvania.  You just stooped to tactics that even the bill collector frowns upon.

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